Building a More Efficient Newsroom: Q&A

How/where is the media ingested into the system? With the advent of HDTV and high end audio, how do you see voice tracks recorded in the noisy newsroom playing on the air? So audio tracks are automatically adjusted? What if nat segment levels are ...
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Question: How/where is the media ingested into the system? In the initial version of Instinct, media is ingested through an AirSpeed server, a NewsCutter (or other Avid) editor, a remote workgroup transfer, or a transfer from a third party server in conjunction with a Unity for News or LANshare for News system.

Question: With the advent of HDTV and high end audio, how do you see voice tracks recorded in the noisy newsroom playing on the air? Small, highly directional near-field microphones are available that effectively reject unwanted ambient noise. We are looking into offering an optional voiceover kit with one of these microphones included.

Question: So audio tracks are automatically adjusted? What if nat segment levels are different? AGC? iNEWS Instinct automatically normalizes audio levels to preset station preferences. These can be overridden, if necessary.

Question: Does the newsroom have to be tapeless to use this? Can it do tape input and output? Tape could be used as an input, but it would be necessary to record the tape into a Unity for News or LANshare for News system. Similarly, the media could be recorded to tape from a NewsCutter editor or AirSpeed server.

Question: Did I hear you correct, the video resolution is the same as the editor? Meaning that it's (typically) @ 25Mb/s...so you mean the IT infrastructure needs to support multiple streams of this data rate to my multiple journalists in the newsroom? I don't have GigE infrastructure, which is what I would need for more than about 3 or 4 workstations. Please explain? 100baseT is all you need. Instinct is attached not only to iNEWS, but also to a Unity or LANshare for News system over 100baseT or Gigabit Ethernet connections. As dedicated media networks, the Unity systems are able to handle full resolution real time media up to 50Mbit video via 100baseT, and uncompressed standard definition, HDV, DVCProHD, and DNxHD via Gbit Ethernet.

Question: What bandwidth requirements are needed vs. MediaManager? MediaManager is the asset management component of Unity for News and LANshare for News systems, and stores and moves only media metadata, not the media itself. A 100baseT Ethernet connection to the client is all that is needed for MediaManager. iNEWS instinct has the same characteristics.

Question: Do we need special cameras, etc to use this software? No. Any camera input can be used, whether from analog tape (which is then recorded into a Unity or LANshare for News workgroup via AirSpeed or NewsCutter), or a file-based camera formats such as Ikegami Editcam, Panasonic P2, or Sony XDCAM.

Question: We already have iNEWS, does this integrate overtop or is it a separate app? Instinct is a separate application, but it can incorporate an iNEWS seat license.

Question: How much is the license? For seats already licensed for iNEWS, the incremental price for Instinct is $2495 USMSRP. $3995 USMSRP covers both a new iNEWS seat license and the Instinct license .

Question: Please talk about how this system exports text and video to web sites. With a content management application called Avid Active ContentManager and a media transcoding application called DMS ProEncode, text and video (including additional video clips not used in the newscast) created on iNEWS Instinct are automatically inserted into existing web templates, the video is transcoded into web resolutions, and then sent to web servers. This means that a journalist, producer, or writer can easily populate and update the station’s web site not only with text, but compelling video as well. For more information on Active ContentManager, visit http://www.avid.com/products/activecontentmanager/broadcast/

Question: Audio levels from the field are all over the place - everyday, how is that problem addressed? There are two ways to manipulate audio levels with iNEWS Instinct:

  1. Audio tracks for each edit can be raised or lowered if the user has the privilege to do so.
  2. An administrator can set a site wide settings for audio ducking of natural sound when a voice track is present. The audio will be automatically adjusted without any intervention from the user.

There are audio meters present on the UI that allow the user to monitor the levels..

Question: When will this be a current, shippable product - or is it now? iNEWS Instinct is expected to ship in Q4 this year.

Question: How do you see the reporter switching between researching metadata, writing and editing line by line? Does this disrupt the creative flow? While there may be some amount of adaptation needed due to individual styles, in our usability studies this is how journalists expect to work. They want to research and gather data, search wires, and begin composing the story through the same application. With Instinct, we are adding the abilities to search video clips and to relate video to text. This works with the creative flow because journalists already pre-visualize video now, but just haven’t had a way to easily control it.

Question: I have iNEWS and Avid Unity. My newsroom is all on a 100BASE-T network. What additional hardware or infrastructure do I need to implement? iNEWS Instinct clients support 100bT network connections! If adding Instinct seats will mean adding simultaneous video demand on your Avid Unity system, you should consult with your Avid representative to see if you have the capacity to support these seats, or possibly need to expand storage, PortServer Pro gateways, or switching capacity.

Question: What bundle of Avid software (Unity, TransferManager, etc) is Instinct qualified on? Avid Unity/LANshare 3.5.3, MediaManager 4.5, iNEWS 2.1

Question: Where acquisition is still, by and large, linear (tape), can this system be implemented without incurring an ingestion bottleneck? Yes. Multiple tapes can be simultaneously recorded into the Avid Unity for News (up to 60 simultaneous DV25 records) or LANshare for News system (up to 10 simultaneous DV25 records), and client Instinct workstations can begin to locate and use the video in as little as 15 seconds after recording starts.

Question: Does this integrate with any other NLEs beside Avid? Currently only Avid editors are truly qualified but the Avid PortServer software allows non-Avid systems to access Unity and LANshare for News storage. Any media supporting the MXF OP-Atom file format for media and AAF for compositional metadata should technically be able to work with Instinct.

Question: What is the integration methodology for MOS? In other words, I do not own a Unity or AirSpeed system, but another manufacturers Playback Server that is MOS compliant, how does this interact in regards to MOS slugs and Rundown management within the MOS protocol? While iNEWS Instinct requires the iNEWS NRCS to operate it does not require MOS.to function. MOS is supported by iNEWS NRCS as an option, and can be used to coordinate control of 3rd party servers and other devices.

Question: Can a producer view story while a reporter is still working on it? Yes. The media can be used by others, and the story composition can also be viewed.

Question: I own a SAN based server system with integrated NLEs for my news and sports production, can I still integrate the Instinct (my concern is the video to the desktop from your Unity storage)? What and how do I use to integrate the two separate systems to bring them together? Instinct requires an Avid Unity for News or LANshare for News system for storage. Media from your other SAN would need to be transferred to the Avid system. Depending on the SAN vendor and MXF file format support, an Avid Unity TransferManager API integration may already be in place to allow the media transfer. Your Avid rep can help answer your unique workflow and integration questions.

Question: When using this system in a remote/bureau location, what kind of bandwidth will you need to access stored video? When working in a bureau it is possible to browse the content of a annex server and initiate a transfer of media to your local workgroup. The Instinct client can use this media and when finished can send only the EDL back to the station. This is a very efficient way to use media in a bureau.

Question: Does iNEWS Instinct require additional client licenses on the Unity system? Unity client licenses are included with iNEWS Instinct.

Question: If I was writing my story in I news could I log the tape using keyboard controls including hotkeys for time codes? Answer: The great thing about Avid iNEWS Instinct is that it uses media that has already been recorded onto shared storage. Keyboard controls allow you to mark the actual "in" and "out" points of the video in context with the story. There are several keyboard shortcuts included to make the production more efficient

Question: How does your archiving system work? There are two solutions, Nearchive and Avid Archive. Nearchive is auxiliary hard-disk based NAS storage of up to 10.5TB capacity, with built-in MediaManager and TransferManager services that allow media to be quickly searched and transferred to central storage. Avid Archive includes SGL FlashNet archive management software and StorageTek tape libraries (other tape or DVD libraries may also be used). In either case media can be Sent to Archive from the editor and searched and retrieved from the MediaManager application.

Question: Can you import archived scripts from another vendor's software? Scripts can be cut and pasted into Instinct, but we can’t guarantee the usability of any associated metadata.

Question: We now have 120 journalists on Media Browse + 20 edit suites + 20 ingest AirSpeeds etc. How many connections can this leave for Instinct if it were to replace Media Browse? Given this configuration, with the current version of Unity you would have capacity for 20 Instinct seats at DV25 in addition to your ingest, edit and playout connections.

Question: Can a user view multiple lineups at once? Yes. Avid iNEWS Instinct allows the user to "pin" multiple rundowns in the research pane. This allows the user to go back and forth between many rundowns.

Question: Is this system in use yet at any broadcast station? iNEWS Instinct was announced at NAB 2005 with shipment scheduled to start in Q4 2005. It is currently in the beta testing stage at several broadcasters.

Question: Do you have a DVD version of this presentation? If so, we would love to get a copy. The presentation has been archived and is viewable on-line, but a DVD of the presentation is not available. Your Avid rep would be pleased to schedule an on-site visit to cover all these topics and give an in-depth demonstration.

Question: What if I want to view the video demo portion of the presentation again? Go to www.avid.com/instinct and click on "Avid iNEWS Instinct Demo" under the right-hand "In the Spotlight" menu.